Waterloo Marathon


The St. John’s Waterloo Marathon is relatively new, and still quite small.  I was looking forward to a nice country run, almost like a spring version of the PEC marathon in Picton.  I was able to convince John Brennan to sign up as a training race for his spring goal race in Mississauga, just a few weeks later.  We agreed we would run together, just as we normally would do on any other Sunday morning back in Strathroy. 

I slept over at my sister’s place in Guelph the night before the race, so that I could visit the family, and cut down on my morning drive.  It was nice to see Sarah, even though Cameron was already asleep when I got there.  It was a quick drive to the race venue.  Luckily, I was using my GPS, because I could have easily have gotten lost on those jumbled up K-W streets. 

I met John and we got ourselves ready.  They had a big indoor soccer field for the runners to gather in before the race, which was nice because the weather looked like it was going to be fairly wet all day long. 

In the first couple kilometers of the race, we came up behind Ron Gehl.  After saying hello, I asked him what brought him out.  I knew he was a hardcore trail runner and that the mainstream races weren’t really his thing.  He told me that he quit road marathons a long time ago, but it was a girl that changed his mind.  As Ron settled into his pace, John and I carried on. 

We later caught up with another guy I recognized from the ultra series, Chris.  We chatted a bit, and I found out that his race calendar was about as busy as mine.  He was having some issues with his knee and had to slow down as John and I carried forward. 

It was quite nice running through the Amish countryside, although we could have done without the rain.  Another interesting feature of this race is that there are Scottish pipers playing throughout the route.  They braved the rain along with the rest of us. 

Parts of the course were similar to the route I ran for the ENDURrun Stage 7 marathon.  There were some really long sections of highway with rolling hills that were starting to wear us down past 30k.  Before long, we started to enter back into the city, and we knew we were almost there. 

John and I were motivated mostly by just wanting to get out of the cold rain, and pushed to the finish in almost exactly three and a half hours.  A change of clothes and a warm coffee was definitely in order. 

After a few post-race chats, it was back in the car and on the road back to London.  The next few weeks are going to start to get quite busy, with lots of races coming up.    

© Brian Groot 2016